Monday, September 12, 2011

Fair Play: It's Davis Cup weekend

IT’S THAT time again, time to show up with your country’s colors on your shirts, bags, faces, or bodies even.

It’s Davis Cup time! It’s the Philippines vs. Taiwan, this weekend in Lapu-Lapu City.

If you missed last March’s tie against Japan, then by god you owe it to yourself not to miss this one.

Especially if you’re a tennis fan.

Araceli Socorro, the Blue-Haired Fanatic’s right hand woman in the Kaholeros, sure isn’t.

She’s making time in a busy week to watch the final day of the tie in Plantation Bay on Sept. 18.

Here’s her tweet: “Hectic week ahead for me. 17 a birthday to attend, 18 tennis, 19, 21 games, 22 lecture, 24 game.”

And did I mention she’s flying in from Manila just to watch the games?

Yep, fans like Araceli (FilipinoKopite on Twitter) are moving heaven and earth just to watch the games. So, Cebuano fans should, too.

Besides, Plantation Bay may be far, but it’s not that far, isn’t it?

And, if you’re lucky, you’d get to see a replay of that marathon Cecil Mamiit had against Tatsumi Ito and marvel at how tough these tennis players are, going at it for hours under the sun.

Personally, I don’t want a replay, since Mamiit lost, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (3), 7-9, in a match that started at 10 a.m. and ended at close to 5 p.m. But I do want to see the grit and determination Mamiit displayed, especially after that tough third set when it seemed the Japanese was headed for a three sets to one win in the fourth.

But he didn’t.

Because somehow, Cecil found the resolve to fend off the Japanese in the fourth, and was even ahead, 4-0, in the fourth.

You know why?

I think the crowd—though sparse during that Friday—played a factor.

Imagine how big a factor it would be if hundreds of screaming fans would fill the stands this weekend.

So, what are you waiting for?

Go get those Davis Cup seats for you and your friends.

This weekend, too, is the only time Cebuano tennis fans can see world-class tennis. Unless, of course, Roger Federer’s plane gets diverted to Cebu or Andy Roddick’s double somehow ends up in Mactan.

And world-class tennis action is a thing of beauty.

Sometimes, in between points during long matches, just like Cecil vs. Ito, these players look like the weekend warriors—or even us. They look so tired that it seemed a strong gust of wind could drop them.

When they get to those seats during exchanges, sometimes, it seemed they’d like to stay forever. Just like us in our comfortable seats at home after a long day.

But that’s where the similarities end.

Because no matter how tired guys like Mamiit get, when they play, especially for the country in a Davis Cup tie? Nobody will stop them from giving their best, even at the expense of their tired and aching bodies.

Because that’s the Davis Cup. It may be about tennis—an individual sport. But there’s nothing “individual” when you’re playing for the flag.

So, this weekend, let’s make Cecil, Treat Huey, Jeson Patrombon, Ruben Gonzales and Johnny Arcilla feel right at home when they face Taiwan.

Because this weekend is Davis Cup weekend!

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